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Environment|Exploration|Gold|PROJECT|Sustainable|Drilling
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environment|exploration|gold|project|sustainable|drilling

Shanta exceeds its production guidance for 2023

An image of Shanta Gold CEO Eric Zurrin

CEO Eric Zurrin

22nd January 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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Aim-listed Shanta Gold has surpassed its production guidance for 2023, despite a moderate slowdown at its New Luika gold mine (NLGM), in Tanzania. The company benefitted from a strong gold price environment with healthy returns to investors.

This is according to CEO Eric Zurrin, speaking in a production and operational update for the quarter ended December 31, for the company’s East African assets, comprising NLGM and the Singida gold mine, in Tanzania, and the West Kenya project, in Kenya.

“Our newest project to come on stream, Singida, has performed well in its first phase of commercial production and the new five-year plan shows potential for expansion but will require the necessary investment to deliver it.

“It’s exciting to see the hard work from the team come to life over the past few years, culminating in us reaching a milestone annual production target of 100 000 oz.

“Our 2024 focus is to ensure long-term sustainable production, meaning further investment into the assets through exploration. This work programme along with higher royalties and elevated normalised costs at Singida will mean a lift in all-in sustaining costs (AISC) in 2024,” Zurrin outlines.  

FULL YEAR 2023

Group production was 100 571 oz, 2.6% ahead of the upper end of 2023 guidance of 98 000 oz.

Singida produced 29 323 oz, while NLGM produced 71 248 oz.

Group adjusted operating cash costs were $857/oz and AISC were $1 138/oz, compared with AISC guidance of $1 200/oz to $1 300/oz.

Commercial production was declared at Singida, Tanzania’s first new medium-scale gold mine in a decade, during the year.

A new five-year plan was also announced for Singida, forecasting 169 000 oz of output over 2023 to 2027 with the potential for expansion.

Shanta made $39-milllion in payments to the government of Tanzania including corporate income taxes, royalties and selling fees, and other taxes.

A dividend was paid in July 2023 and an interim dividend paid in November 2023, totalling about $2.7-milllion during 2023, taking total shareholder returns to $8-million cash since 2021.

2024 GUIDANCE AND OUTLOOK

Group guidance for this year is for production of 100 000 oz to 106 000 oz of gold at an AISC of $1 300/oz to $1 350 /oz.

This is consistent with the five-year plan announced in July 2023 of 105 600 oz in 2024.

Guidance for NLGM is 70 000 oz to 74 000 oz at an AISC of $1 300/oz to $1 350/oz; and guidance for Singida is 30 000 oz to 32 000 oz at an AISC of $1 275/oz to $1 325/oz.

The increase in this year’s AISC is driven by about $50/oz of additional on-mine exploration at NLGM and Singida, higher royalties derived from forecasted higher selling prices and a non-cash inventory adjustment.

About 15 000 m of drilling has been planned for each of NLGM and Singida this year.   

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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